5 EASY ACTIVITIES THAT ARE ENTERTAINING AND EDUCATIONAL FOR BABIES UNDER ONE YEARS OLD

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In addition to eating and sleeping, your baby needs to play games for a happy and healthy development. Even though are a form of entertainment for adults,  games also help babies understand the world better know the world and gain experiences that influence their mental development. You can strengthen the bond between you and your baby by playing games together which help him/her acquire new experiences and skills, and most importantly create the opportunity for him/her to have fun “with you”. Here are some recommended games from Molfix:

Homemade Tunnel

Do not throw away your paper towel rolls! You can create amazing tunnels in order to have fun with your baby. Sit on one side of the roll and let your baby sit on the other. slightly raise the roll on your side and put a few small toys one by one into the roll. You baby will get excited to see what will come out on his/her side.

Tips:
• Try not to show the toys to your baby as you throw them into the roll. This will make him/her more curious.
• You may also paint and decorate the rolls with your baby using finger paints. You can thus create game tunnels that are even more fun and unique.
• You can stick a few paper towels or toilet rolls together with packaging tape and create longer tunnels.
• Show your baby how to put the toys into the rolls and let him/her try it to. The attempts made by your baby to throw the toys into the roll will also help the development of his/her eye-hand coordination as well as fine motor skills.
• When toys are being put into the roll shout out “All aboard” to make it even more fun. When the toy comes out of the roll continue by saying “the train has arrived at the station”. Your baby will also be able to learn the concepts of transportation, departure and arrival.

Water Ball Hunt

Children love to play with water! Water games are just what your baby needs in order for him/her to learn while having fun as well as refresh, especially during the warm weather. One of the most entertaining water games you can play with your baby, who is not yet 1,is Water Ball Hunt.

Fill a wide washbowl halfway and put  15 small plastic balls in it. Give your baby a small plastic kitchen strainer or a wide-mouthed colander to enable him/her collect the balls. Collecting the balls from the water will help develop the fine motor skills of your infant and facilitate him/her eating and holding his/her own spoon independently. When your baby sits down and stands up by the washbowl, stretches and extends his/her arms, the development of his/her gross motor skills will also be supported.

Tips:
• You may alternate the colors of your balls according to the season or period to create more excitement. For example; if you are to do this during the christmas season, you could make the balls red and green.
• You can do this activity either at home or outdoors. You can spread a wide cover (preferably a plastic one that can be easily cleaned) under the washbowl so your house does not get wet and messy, and may use the bathroom or the balcony as the activity location.
• When your child gets bored with playing with the strainer or colander, let him/her play with the water as long as he/she wishes. Do not force him/her to continue with the game.
• Take care to ensure that the balls you select for the activity are small enough not to be a danger to your baby. Mid-size play pool balls are ideal for this activity.
• Your baby is still very small and inexperienced. Although he/she may not have been able to catch any balls, congratulate him/her for his/her efforts and encourage him/her for future trials.

Story Bundle

Fill objects of different sizes, colors and shapes in a non-transparent bag or a box with a cover. The texture of the objects should also be different: Wood, metal, fabric, etc… Let your child put his/her hand in this mysterious bundle and pull out an object without looking. Make up a story by taking this object as the theme and develop your story with each object that comes out of the box.

Tips:
• Say the name and for what purpose each object that comes out of the bundle is used for in order to develop the vocabulary and verbal skills of your child. Include as many descriptions as possible in your story.
• You can make your child the main character of your story. A story of bravery related to him/her will keep his/her interest alive. Do not forget! Girls can also be heroes and may save themselves (or princes!).
• Give each object that comes out of the bundle to your child. Watch him/her sense the textures of the objects, and get to know their shapes by turning them around in his/her hands.
• Take care to select objects that pose no threat at all to your child. Choose objects that are not sharp, too big to put in his/her mouth, or too short to go around his/her neck. When your game is over, place the thing you have been using as the bundle somewhere out of the reach of your child.

Smell Discovery

Day by day, your baby’s curiosity and interest increases with his/her increasing awareness of the world around him/her. One of the means of perceiving the world around him/her is through his/her sense of smell. You can help him/her use this sense by giving him/her flowers with different scents and allow him/her to discover different scents. You will see his/her joy with each new scent discovered.

Tips:
• If you are going to do this activity on a spring day, you can take your baby to a botanical garden or a park decorated with flowers. Allow your child some freedom in order for him/her to discover the scent of flowers in their natural environment.
• You can start doing this activity after your baby is 4 weeks old. There is no maximum age! After all there is an unlimited number of scents to be discovered.
• Prefer light and beautiful scented flowers like lavender, daffodil, rose, and jasmine for your baby to smell. Keep your child away from perfume and similar scents as these will not be beneficial to him/ her.
• Take care to avoid your child having the flowers too close to his/her face, so as to avoid your child eating them or touch parts with thorns.

Tear it up!

Children love to tear paper, perhaps due to the noise it makes or maybe due to the satisfaction of changing something on their own! So, you may turn old newspapers and unwanted letters into an entertainment filled with laughter. Just as your baby starts to tear, your will see how happy this makes him/her and will not even care about the resulting mess!

Tips:
• Ink from some newspapers may smear your child’s hands. Choose paper with ink that will not smear and be harmful to your child.
• This activity will allow your child to use his/her hands and fingers and support the development of his/her motor skills.

Content provide by: ZNN Network www.znnnetwork.com

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